Hamelin, the 2010 Olympic gold medallist , was 0.129 seconds faster than China's Liang Wenhao. Canadian Olivier Jean was third-fastest in 42.643.
China's Wang Meng clocked the fastest time in qualifying for the women's 500 metres with a time of 44.740 seconds. South Korea's Park Seung-hi was second in 44.389 while Canada's Marianne St. Gelais finished third with a time of 44.561.
The Nagoya meet is the third of six ISU World Cup short track events. The final for the men's 500 metres will be held on Sunday.